In 1972, brothers Derald Wing Sue, PhD, and Stanley Sue, PhD, founded the Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA) to advance the welfare of Asian Americans by encouraging culturally competent research, training and service.
"We had very few mentors back then," says Derald, a psychology professor at Columbia University Teachers College. "Psychology wasn't really something Asian Americans considered going into as a field." When they started AAPA, they only had 10 members. Now, there are close to 500.
And in the past 30 years, the influence of Asian Americans in psychology has grown as steadily as its membership. "From simple beginnings, we've achieved a great deal," says Stanley, professor of psychology and director of Asian American Studies at University of California-Davis. "Members have reached influential and prominent positions within APA, the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Science Foundation."
To mark this coming of age, "Honoring Our Past, Envisioning Our Future: Celebrating 30 Years of AAPA"--a series of events--will take place at APA's Annual Convention in Chicago, Aug. 22-25. Activities will include a symposium, "30 years of Asian American psychology: past, present and future," Friday, 11-11:50 a.m., featuring Fred Leong, PhD, Stanley Sue, Reiko True, PhD, Michi Fu, PhD, Christine Yeh, PhD, and chair Gisela Lin, PhD.
There will also be an AAPA 30th Anniversary Reception, Friday, 4-5:30 p.m., during which the group will receive a presidential citation from APA President Philip G. Zimbardo, PhD, recognizing the organization's success in achieving its mission over the past 30 years.